Help for my first setup ever

Discussion in 'Hydroponic Growing' started by NoMad420, May 8, 2016.

  1. Sup GC,

    I've never grown a single plant in my entire life, so I'm looking for some help from you guys to set up my grow, so I don't flush too many $$$ down the drain...

    Here's my plan for a DWC system for 4 Plants

    Grow space: 1,2x1,2m (perhaps 1x1m?) Tent
    Light: 600W MH/HPS, Cooltube?
    2x 50L totes with lids for my bubble "bucket"
    A 1800L/h (25W) Air Pump, feeding
    6 15cm Airstones, 3 in each tote
    A radial fan will blow hot air outside
    Nutes: GHE, Canna and Advanced Hydroponics is most widely available here

    2 Plants per tote, I think each will hold 50L of water when filled to the bottom of the net pots, about half a meter between the stems. That should allow plants to grow big and bushy, since I plan on main-lining and SCROGging them, after I learned how to keep them alive ofc.

    Everything OK so far? Here are some specific questions:

    Can I grow from seed/clone to harvest in perlite? I'll just line the inside of the net pots with pebbles to hold in the perlite.

    Are 50L totes & 25L net pots a good choice? Should the net pots be smaller?

    GHE, Canna or Advanced Hydroponics? Anything other than baseline + calmag?

    Strains: Are Sativa+Hydro+Newb a good mix? I have no idea about strains, the only ones I'm certain I have ever smoked are Northern Lights and White Widow. Recommendations welcome!

    How much yield would you expect? I'm only trying to cover my smoking of about 1g/day, so I won't have a separate veg room. Harvest every 12-15 weeks.

    In the far far distant future, I plan to add a reservoir, water pump, some more airstones and pipes to convert it to RDWC / automatic feeding / additional cooling if neccesary. But for now I need some confidence my first ever grow op will not fail miserably.
  2. BUMP
    Anyone who can give advice on net pot size?
  3. Hey NoMad

    I'll help with what I can...

    I'm reaching the end of my first grow, about 6 weeks till harvest and I also chose a Sativa dominant strain to grow first, Chocoloco from Vision Seeds. Before I went and spend over a months salary of my gear I researched for weeks, learning everything I could before I actually put it into practise with real plants. I cannot recommend this enough!!! Being patient and putting your plan in place before you germinate the seed will help you immensely as you 'grow' through the grow.

    I use:

    1.2x1.2x2.2M grow tent
    Wilma 4 pot (RDWC), 25L (6.6 gallon) pots, hydro pepples.
    Plagron nutrients (Dutch company, readily available in Europe)
    400w MH/ 600w HPS, digital ballast overclocks to 660w
    Carbon filter, extraction fan and multiple oscillating fans

    In regards to your questions:

    I believe you can grow from seed/clone in straight perlite. There are some grow journals here in GC that I've read from people who've done just that.

    I don't believe you will require net pots that large, in fact I think you would only require around a 5l net pot. From what I understand of the system the net pot is only there to add some support to the base of the plant. Meaning that the net pot size should not affect your final plant size/yield as the roots will be filling the massive 50L tote. That's the benefit of net pots I imagine, plants are unlikely to ever become root bound, unless you're going to veg them for 6 months

    Nutrients....I took the advice of the Grow Shop guy and bought an A+B setup which is used through veg and flowering, root stimulator, enzymes and a flowering booster, Green Sensation (£140 a litre!). The advice available here and on other sites varies greatly. Everyone has their likes and dislikes, that's the issue. It's down to the individual and what they find they get the best results from. My advice on this one...? Buy small bottles of whatever nutes you choose to begin with, just enough for one grow. That way you are free to change them them up when you like without it hitting you the wallet too much. I'll change my nutes once I've used these, if only so that I have more experience and something to compare results with.

    Sativa growing is definitely more challenging than Indicas imo. I veg'd for 2 months using mainlining on 3 plants and supercropping/topping/LST on the other in order to control my height and to create an even canopy. My plants were around 14" (35cm) when I changed to 12/12, I now have 56" (142cm) TREES. The stretch was incredible though this strain is known for growing out of control! Indi's are more 'forgiving' in terms of height and as the light only penetrates so far through the canopy, I think I'd be having better results with those instead. My next grow is planned and loaded with Indica so I'll let you know

    Mainlining/Scrog: There's really no need to combine both of these techniques as far as I'm aware. If you're looking to harvest every 12-15 weeks I'd recommend using the Scrog instead of mainlining. When you mainline you cut off a serious amount of growth setting the plant back a few days while it recovers. Scroging is less harmful to the plant as you are only cutting the new growing tips (topping) then feeding all new growth through the grid. Topping the plant can be started earlier than mainlining. You can top after the first set of real leaves whereas you need to wait until at least 6 nodes have grown before mainlining can realistically start. Another point worth making.... In a tent set up like ours, efficiency is key. By the end of your grow you want all of the horizontal space filled with useable material and mainlining isn't the most efficient way of doing that imo. Scrog the hell out of these 4 plants and I promise you'll be happy you did. I'm not knocking mainlining, I'm glad I've tried it and will again in the future once I'm sure. The more we know the better, right? Research 'lollypopping' too if you haven't already!

    Yield... I personally set a very high goal of 500g dried from my 660w. Experienced growers can get WAY more from that size of bulb. With all the research I've done I am confident (overly lol) but I won't be disappointed whatever I end up with. Don't stress too much about yield. Take care of the plants during veg and the yield will look after itself. If you don't get lazy and manage your grow properly you'll make your 1g/day requirement, I have faith in you buddy!

    We're all here to help each other. This is an excellent resource so always ask someone when you have a question. Be confident because you have the whole internet as back up when shit goes down!

    Peace my brother


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  4. #4 NoMad420, May 11, 2016
    Last edited: May 11, 2016
    Huge thanks for your answer, camarero!

    As for net pot size, my concern is mainly in the early stage of the plants' life. Even with smaller pots, I'd have to manually / drip feed until roots reach the water/nutrients in the tote, right? But once that's done, bigger net pots should allow to grow a bigger root ball. Most DWC root balls I've seen (on youtube, never AFK) had about the same diameter as the net pot...

    Considering I want to upgrade to RDWC later, I now think perlite falling through the hydroton (finally remembered the right word for "pebbles", lol) isn't ideal, so I may as well go rockwool + hydroton from start. More consistency, better repeat-ability.

    Sativa: I'm OK to veg some weeks longer to fill all horizontal space. My logic here is to top/mainline to fill the entire 1,2x1,2m scrog net with only 4 plants. (So most likely another light+ballast would be the first thing to upgrade) But as I said, I'm not after any specific strain, so I'll prob start off with indica.

    Temp: I only know too hot water is the main problem, but what are safe upper/lower limits? ie when do I have to start/stop throwing frozen water bottles in my res, because commercial water coolers are too damn expensive?

    Again, thank you for all your help.
    Edit: While proofreading (english isn't my native language) I completely forgot... Beautiful plants there, bro!

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